When a doctor writes you a prescription, it is meant to treat a specific illness or condition that you are experiencing. The only person who should be taking the prescription is you. If you share your prescribed medication with anyone else, you are committing a crime.
According to the Code of Virginia § 18.2-250, “it is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice.” It’s important to really understand what this means.
What counts as misuse of prescription drugs?
The following are examples of misuse of prescription drugs:
- Sharing your prescriptions. Even if you’re just trying to save a friend some money, this is illegal.
- Taking someone else’s prescription medication. Let’s say you have a migraine. You know that your mother has a prescription for her migraines. If you take her prescribed medication, you are committing a crime.
- Selling prescription drugs. If you sell any portion of your prescription, even if it is one pill, you can be charged with distributing a controlled substance.
- Stealing prescription drugs. Whether you take them from your father or from a doctor’s office or hospital is considered a felony.
The prescription drugs that are frequently abused include:
- Barbiturates and benzodiazepenes
- Stimulants (such as ADHD medication)
Abuse of prescription pain medication such as opioids is a problem that plagues many people. In recent years, the federal government has cracked down on doctors and medical professionals who write unnecessary prescriptions.
If you have been charged with selling, sharing, trafficking, or distributing prescription drugs, the penalties can be stiff. You should seek legal assistance to help obtain the best possible outcome to your case.